Teacher put on leave, accused of taping student to chair

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The Lake Washington School District has placed a teacher on leave for allegedly taping a student to a chair, but the boy's classmates say there's another side to the story.

"I heard from the kid that it was a joke," said Lake Washington High School senior Nancy Zahirovic.

Other students agreed with that assessment and said the student in question is known as a jokester and the biology teacher likes to make learning interesting.

"(The student) said he didn't really think it was that big of a deal," said student Ethan Holle.

Both Holle and and Zahirovic said they spoke to the boy after the incident.

"God forbid that a teacher is joking around and tapes a student to a chair just for fun and the student didn't even have a problem with it," Zahirovic said.

While it's still unclear exactly what happened, what is known is that the story has changed.

The teacher was originally accused of using duct tape, but that changed to masking tape and then electrical tape. In reality, it was a single strand of Scotch tape.

"It was just one thing around him and the chair and he probably could have gotten up if he wanted, so I think it was blown up out of proportion," Holle said.

In a statement, school district spokeswoman Kathryn Reith said physically constraining students is completely unacceptable.

"I believe it would be a violation of our Human Dignity Policy," the statement reads. "We do have a detailed policy regarding harassments, intimidation and bullying. We expect all staff members and students to abide by it."

The district began investigating the incident after a teacher overheard the boy telling a classmate about what happened, and that teacher told administrators.

"I feel bad for the teacher because (teachers) joke around a little bit to make the students like them a little more, but sometimes it goes wrong like this time," Holle said.

The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave while the district conducts its investigation.